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56% Favor Balanced Budget Amendment

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It’s an idea that’s been around for decades of deficit spending and most voters nationwide like the idea of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But they don’t expect it to happen.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 56% are in favor of a balanced budget amendment while  22% are opposed and another 22% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

However, only 33% of voters say it’s even somewhat likely that a balanced budget amendment to the constitution will become law in the near future, including just nine percent (9%) who see this outcome as Very Likely. Fifty-six percent (56%) say this amendment, which would require a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate, is not likely to become law anytime soon. Still, just 12% see this possibility as Not At All Likely to happen. Another 11% aren’t sure.

To become law, any Amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states. That’s an extraordinarily high hurdle in a divided political landscape.

Most Republicans (68%) and voters not affiliated with either party (54%) support a balanced budget amendment. So do a plurality of Democrats (46%)

Voters are even more strongly supportive of term limits, but don’t expect that to happen either.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 20-21, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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